Electronics are expensive. These days, your TV might cost several hundred dollars. Once you add on equipment and enhancements, your costs might even reach four figures. If you are going to spend that much money, you expect your system to work. Still, there are plenty of risk factors in your own apartment that might damage your TV. And then, there's the ever-dreaded mechanical breakdown — where you can't even determine exactly what triggered the malfunction. The question you might have is whether your renters insurance can help you pay for the damage.
Possessions Insurance For Renters
When you buy your renters insurance, you'll likely be able to buy possessions insurance. The policy will cover most of your standard household belongings, TVs included. Therefore, if the TV sustains damage, you might be able to receive a payout from your policy to replace it.
However, the key word here is might. Renters policies don't cover all and sundry losses to possessions. They often limit not only when the policy will pay you, but also how much you can receive for a claim.
When Your Policy Will Pay
Renters insurance isn't supposed to help you with your everyday household purchases, such as when you buy a new TV. It's meant to help you cover costs of damage to your belongings following unexpected, unpreventable or unavoidable accidents that damage them. Keep this rule in mind after TV damage.
A Covered Accident Damages The TV
Suppose that one day, a fire erupts in your home. This was likely something you couldn't have reasonably prevented. Therefore, your possessions insurance is likely to compensate you for your losses. There are a multitude of accidents that might occur in your home that your policy might cover. Besides fires, TVs damaged from incidents like storms, vandalism, theft and more might have coverage.
You Damage Your Own TV
Suppose that one day, while vacuuming, the vacuum snags the TV cord, pulling it off its shelf and causing it to shatter. Even if the damage was an accident, your policy likely won't cover your losses. Unfortunately, policies don't cover negligence on your part, even accidental negligence.
The TV Breaks Down
Machinery breakdowns are just a part of the normal lifespan of a TV. Unfortunately, your policy might not compensate you, even though you likely didn't know damage was about to occur. However, exceptions will apply, so speak to your BluCanopy agent about the cause of the breakdown. You can also consider buying a warranty on the TV in question.
Deductibles and Coverage Limits Will Exist
Even if your possessions insurance covers the scenario that damages the TV, that still doesn't necessarily mean you will be able to receive full compensation for the loss.
- Most policies will only pay the actual cash value for damaged possessions. The cash value is the item's depreciated value at the time of a loss. A ten-year-old TV likely isn’t worth as much as a brand-new system. Therefore, you might not be able to recoup the full cost of the item.
- Policies will also include deductibles, which is a portion of a claim's cost you agree to assume in case of a claim. For example, if you have a $500 possessions deductible, then the cost of damage must be more than $500 for the policy to pay. If the TV's damage is worth less than $500, then coverage won't pay.
Still, there are some ways that you might be able to maximize payouts from your possessions coverage. You might be able to buy a policy that pays you for an item's replacement cost value, as opposed to cash value. Or, you might be able to add the TV as a scheduled item on the policy, so you can insure it for its unique, higher value. Always tell your agent about the value of your TV, and they will point you in the direction of the right coverage.